If its been a while since you last swam, nw is the time to check out your kit and perhaps update it ready for when we start. Here is a reminder of what to check and a list of kit you will need.
Ensure the pair you have been using (and love) are still fit for use. Check the strap for any splits, the eye seals for nicks and replace them if they show signs of damage. You don’t want them letting you down in the middle of a session.
You do have a spare pair, don’t you? So you are prepared for anything? Make sure you adjust them before arriving at the pool, just in case.
For training in the pool, we recommend a short fin (the Speedo BIOFUSE design is our preferred fin). These aren’t the cheapest, but have been proven to last longer than some of the cheaper brands that tend to split quite quickly. Bargains are out there with Speedo advertising these today at 50% off.
If you already have fins, check that they still fit your feet. Fins should fit snugly; if you can fit multiple fingers in the space between fin and skin they are too big! If fins are loose they will cause chaffing and likely painful blisters in the long run. We recommend 1 shoe size up when selecting a fin, as your feet will swell slightly during training.
Look for any splits in the rubber, especially around the back of the fin. Replace them if you find any.
You need a good general-purpose paddle that is easy to fit. There are many paddles out there designed to correct specific swimming issues, which work well, but are of little use for general swim training. We recommend the Finis AGILITY paddle. They can be fitted quickly and come in different sizes to suit your hands. Plus they have the added advantage of reminding you that the hand entry should be flat and not thumb first. Shop around as these vary in price a lot and you will be surprised how cheap you can get them if you look.
Snorkels in swim training allow you to focus on your drills without worrying about breathing. They help to ensure body alignment, stroke efficiency and to build aerobic capacity. The guidelines from Swim England recommend rotation in the lanes so that everyone is breathing away from each other. This will be helped further by the use of a snorkel.
Our recommendation for a good quality, general purpose centre mounted snorkel is the Finis Swimmers Snorkel. Remember that these should be cleaned on a regular basis, which can be easily done by running the snorkel through a wash cycle on the top rack of the dishwasher (without the head bracket). When looked after properly these snorkels will last a long time.
Make sure to check the head band and the mouth piece for any damage regularly. Replace it if you find anything wrong.
Not used by all swimmers, but some find them useful, especially when tumble turning and swimming backstroke. Various designs exist and all need regular checking for damage, especially the ones with a metal strap, to ensure there are no sharp edges that might cut you in use.
It’s always a good idea to use a nose clip strap, that either attaches to the bridge of the goggles or has a longer neck strap. These are used to prevent the nose clip from being lost in use. This is especially useful in open water swimming, where it would be impossible to find the clip if it falls off. Check the strap and replace it if you find any damage. Remember to regularly clean these as they tend to get stored damp in plastic cases, which can mean they are prone to bug growth.
Which nose clip strap do Tri-Trained recommend? Why, our own brand-new Keep – it of course! It’s a very neat and secure nose clip strap at a modest price if you are looking for one.
An important part of your training kit, especially if you have long hair, which I am guessing most of us have from the lock down. Give yours a look over, as they do split after a while. Finding out on the pool deck is a frustration.
Tri-Trained can supply you with a long-life silicone swim hat at a very reasonable price. If you like, you can have your name added.
There isn’t much that can go wrong with a kickboard, other than a good clean if its been standing around in a damp kit bag. If you are looking to buy your first kickboard, we recommend a large, standard one such as the Speedo universal kickboard. It’s a good quality board and will last for years.
If you want to reduce the number of pieces of kit you carry around, then consider a kickboard/pull buoy combination, these are foam boards that can be used for either role.
The same goes for pull buoys. They will last you ages and there is very little that can go wrong. If you are looking for your first, or replacing yours, then make sure you get the size that’s appropriate for you. Adults will generally need the larger size. Children and petite adults should consider the smaller size. Prices vary and there is little difference, other than size and colours, but we recommend the TYR pull for most people.
Also consider the combo kickboard/pull buoys explained in the kickboard section above.
Flip flops / pool shoes
A ‘must have’ if you are planning on doing any open water swimming and a real bonus if you enjoy swimming in an outdoor pool in the colder months. They will protect your feet from sharp objects and will keep you warmer on cold surfaces.
Check for any splits and give them a good clean, if they have been sitting in your bag for a while.
Very useful when open water swimming. Ideal for changing out of your clothing, or wetsuits, outdoors in any weather. Most of them have a waterproof & windproof exterior nylon fabric and a lining that dries you and keeps you warm.
With the recommendation from Swim England to arrive at the pool ‘ready to swim’ and to change on the pool deck these become almost another ‘must have’ item.
Use Catch-it during the warm up to remind you of the correct feel of the stroke. And throughout your training session, to ensure you get that hand entry right.
Think of it as your own personal coach, gently reminding you. Keep it in your swim bag and use it regularly to keep things going well